A survey of 100 IT professionals conducted by Civo, a provider of cloud services based on Kubernetes, finds a total of 82% currently rely on either Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft for public cloud infrastructure. However, more than a third (34%) of respondents also report they now feel locked into the public cloud service provider.
The primary reason survey respondents cited for feeling that way is data transfer costs are too expensive to move off their current cloud (65%).
Simply inertia also seems to be a factor. A third of the total respondents (33%) said they had always used the same cloud service provider. Nearly two-thirds (62%) also noted they were concerned that alternative cloud providers would suffer more outages. At the same time, however, 45% of respondents conceded they are under growing pressure to reduce cloud costs.
Civo CEO Mark Boost said it’s already apparent that cloud outages are not just limited to alternative cloud providers. In fact, most application workloads are relatively simple in the sense they can run equally well with the same level of resiliency on any number of cloud services at a lower cost than the major hyperscalers currently charge, he noted.
In effect, cloud computing, except for some more complex workloads, should largely be viewed as a commodity, added Boost.
Cloud service providers, of course, discourage migrations using exorbitant data egress charges that often make moving data off their platforms cost prohibitive. In fact, most applications are deployed on a single cloud versus in a truly hybrid cloud model because data management can become exceedingly complex. Ideally, IT organizations would like to be able to play one cloud service provider off another to reduce costs. In practice, however, once an application is deployed, it rarely moves to another platform.
On the plus side, however, microservices-based applications deployed on Kubernetes clusters are easier to move because each instance of a Kubernetes cluster exposes a consistent set of APIs. However, stateful applications deployed in Kubernetes environments can like any other application become dependent on, for example, a proprietary database.
The tradeoff, of course, is that each cloud platform added to an enterprise IT environment tends to increase total costs. IT staffs typically need to hire additional specialists that require tools to manage each cloud. There are, naturally, platforms that span multiple clouds but the cost of acquiring, provisioning and maintaining those platforms can be considerable. In the meantime, more organizations find themselves separately managing and attempting to secure multiple clouds simply because individual departments prefer one cloud service versus another.
It’s not clear to what degree organizations may soon decide to consolidate cloud workloads as part of an effort to reduce costs. However, a lot of workloads in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic were shifted to the cloud with little regard for cost. Now that organizations are adjusting to the so-called new normal, many of those decisions are, at the very least, being re-evaluated to see what might make the most financial sense as the general economy seems to become less predictable with each passing day.